Troubleshooting Weed Eater Issues

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

A weed eater is a vital tool for making the lawn around your home and yard look neat. Unfortunately, just like most things, you are bound to experience issues. Whether the issue is that your weed eat won't start or run, won't stay on or stalls or if the cover pull cord is stuck, there are solutions for each issue.

Troubleshooting Weed Eater Issues
Image Credit: Sebastian Arning / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

Weed Eater Won't Start

You go to use your weed eater but it simply won't start. There could be two culprits for this issue. First, check your spark plug. If there are obvious signs of damage or wear, this could be the problem. Check your porcelain insulator and if it looks cracked, it means an electrode could either be damaged or burned away. It could also mean a hefty buildup of carbon around the electrode as well. What you will have to do is replace your spark plug. But before you do, you will want to make sure you're truly dealing with a faulty spark plug. You can use a spark plug tester to do this. If you don't notice an obvious spark in the tester's terminals while the engine is starting up, you will need to get a replacement.

Another issue could be a clogged carburetor. If fuel is left in the weed eater for a prolonged period, the carburetor can become clogged from the ingredients in the fuel evaporating and leaving a stickier and thicker substance. The substance can cause the engine not to start. If you see that you do have a clogged carburetor, try carburetor cleaner. Sometimes it's more than just needing a cleaning. if that's the case, you will need to replace your entire carburetor.

Weed Eater Won't Stay On or Stalls

It can be frustrating when you're trying to weed eat and the weed eater won't stay on or keeps stalling. There are two different causes for this.

The first is the fuel cap. As the engine burns through fuel, there is a level in the fuel tank that drops lower. The fuel cap will use a small vent so air can travel through the tank. However, when a fuel cap vent is clogged, the air is unable to access the tank, creating a vapor lock. This means as the fuel tries to flow to the carburetor, it will cause your engine to stop running or stall. You can check to see if your fuel vent cap is clogged by gently loosening the cap. Once you have loosened the cap, try starting your engine. If the engine starts and stays running, there is a good chance the vent cap is clogged and it's time to replace it.

The second reason could be a clogged carburetor. This is caused by leaving fuel in your weed eater for an extended period. It's the same scenario for why a weed eater won't start due to a clogged carburetor. You will either have to clean it or replace the carburetor if cleaning it didn't work.

Cover Pull Cord is Stuck

With this type of issue, fixing it is going to vary depending on your model and brand of the weed eater. For example, with some weed eaters, you may need to rewind a new pull cord around your starter pulley. To begin, you will need to remove the starter housing cover so you can access the rope and starter pulley. Next, disconnect your spark plug boot, which is connected to the spark plug. You can find the spark plug boot towards the top-half of the engine. Doing this will ensure the weed eater won't start as you are removing the starter housing cover.

Find the screws that secure your starter housing cover to your weed eater and remove the cover screws. Set the screws aside and lift up the starter housing cover from the weed eater gently so you can access the starter pulley and rope. Now, you will be able to reinstall the starting housing cover after you rewind the starter cord around the pulley. Don't forget to place the screws back in to secure the cover once you're finished.


Heather Burdo is a seasoned writer with six years of experience, including home improvement topics. Her passion is helping homeowners with tips and tricks through content.

View Work